What’s next after Hygge?
Summer is over and while we strenuously try to hold on to our hard-obtained tans, a horrible thought starts creeping into our minds: winter is coming.
What saved us last year from being judged as anti-social, senile and sad couch-potatoes was the never-so-appreciated gift that Denmark decided to bestow on us: Hygge.
All of the sudden, drinking gallons of hot tea while laying on a soft carpet wearing organic loungewear, has become all the rage and perfectly acceptable.
Being comfy, judgement free, surrounded by our families and rocking a kimono dressing gown all Sunday long, no pressures or question asked… we were all in, right?
Apparently, someone has decided that Hygge is over and it looks like we should all go back to our stressful lives and unhealthy habits.
Who doesn’t want to go out for a drink when it’s -20° C and smog is everywhere?
Come on, people!
This rather unappealing idea has a lot of us considering going into hibernation until spring, but for those who would like to keep some semblance of a human being and are in need of lifestyle advice, the solution is already here.
Scandinavia is a gift that keeps on giving, my friends.
Lagom is a Swedish, simple everyday philosophy which easily translates in “just the right amount” and even if some misguided people look at it as a cause for self-denial and frustration , it seems to be the main reason behind Sweden’s success as a modern, egalitarian, advanced country.
The whole concept revolves around the idea of toning down our needs and using what we have in the right amount: not too much, not too little of anything.
Why wasting tons of food when cooking a simple dinner? Why using so much water for our baths? Why keeping the volume so high?
Lagom is a healthy balance of needs and their satisfaction that can change our lives and as a bonus the planet itself. Pain free and all year-long, simple as that.
Remember little Goldilocks and the three bears? Baby Bear’s bed, food and chair were just perfect: not too hard, not too soft; not too hot, not too cold; not too big, not too small.
That’s what we need too, a balanced life to share with others in order to be happier, healthier and overall better human beings.
Dramatic changes are not what this philosophy requires of you (unless you’re living like a crazy person, eating junk food all week long, littering the world with your leftovers while at the same time having two hours long showers and buying synthetic clothes): think affordable, think sustainable.
Buy LED bulbs, and while you’re at it, switch off the light when nobody’s in the room.
Turn off that television and that computer if you’re not using them: stand by mode doesn’t mean free or cheap power.
The same goes with running taps and half-empty washing-machines: we all enjoy singing Beyonce during teeth-brushing or shaving time, but letting all of that water go to waste is a sin that shouldn’t end up in our Lagomer criminal record.
Organize your fridge and reuse leftovers to create new dishes but if you’re not there yet, try cooking the right amount of food instead of a royal gala sized menù.
Reuse, upcycle, recycle.
Don’t get rid of your Hygge chillaxing purchases, because that would be a capital offence: your clothes come from sustainable companies and are cruelty free ( to humans and animals).
Consider cycling and oh-my-god walking to work to make sure that the only footprints you leave on the planet are those on a sandy beach during your summer holidays.
Reduce your impact on the planet (and your bank account) by doing all of the above and while you may not magically grow one of those wonderful scandinavian blond heads of hair, you will be part of a movement which is striving towards a beautiful goal.
Unlike others, this isn’t a trend to be flaunted on social networks, it’s a lifestyle that could effectively change your life.
Because Lagom är bäst, “enough is as good as a feast”.